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New High-speed railway starts operation

China Daily | Updated: 2013-07-01 17:13

New High-speed railway starts operation

A bullet train traveling between Hangzhou and Nanjing runs on the railway in Huzhou in East China's Zhejiang province, July 1, 2013. The Nanjing-Hangzhou-Ningbo high-speed railway that stretches across East China's Yangtze River Delta began officially put into operation on July 1. The new high-speed railway is expected to boost the region's economy and foster the growth of tourism in the three cities it links.[Photo by You You/Asianewsphoto]

However, careful study and planning should take place in advance to seek economic benefits from the high-speed trains, experts say.

Wang Lan, an associate professor in the Department of Urban Planning at Tongji University, started to study 22 cities along the high speed train line in 2006.

Over time, only six of the 22 monitored cities have centered their urban planning around high-speed railway stations, thus seeking economic benefits from the high-speed train, Wang and her research team discovered.

In addition, only half of the 22 cities have located their high-speed train stations near the cities' new districts, while the rest are in remote areas at least 20 km away, requiring a 30-minute drive from the downtown area.

Liu Hung Chih, principal and senior vice-president of Design + Planning/Economicsfor Pan-Asia AECOM, a global provider of technical and management support services, said it is a challenge in China to associate regional plans with the central government's plans.

"As for the problem that 50 percent of the high-speed train stations are set up in remote areas, one solution is to set up new city centers around these stations. In these new centers, it is possible to build new exhibition centers and public utility centers," Liu said.

 

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